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Israel fears India could scrap $500m arms deal

Israel missiles in Russia [File photo]

Israel is afraid that India is planning to scrap a $500 million deal of anti-tank missiles claiming that more tests are needed on the arms, Ma’an reported yesterday.

The Marker, an Israeli economic outlet, noted that the Indian deal to purchase Spike anti-tank missiles is facing major difficulties, noting that India wanted the missiles to be better tested.

However, it said: “The real reason for the additional experiments is the claim of the Indian defence that the missiles should be tested in a high-temperature atmosphere.”

Citing foreign reports, the Marker said that India feels worried because the missiles are planned to operate in a hot desert weather.” However, it reported unnamed Israeli officials saying that this request is a sign that India “is looking for an excuse to scrap the deal.”

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In November 2017, the Times of Israel reported Indian media saying that New Delhi had scrapped the deal to buy the anti-tank missiles from the Israeli Rafael weapons manufacturer in favour of developing missiles domestically.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems responded to the report saying it had yet to be “officially informed of any changes” to the contract.

According to Indian media, the government scaled down the order and awarded part of the contract, 5,000 missiles, to domestic manufacturers, and the remaining 3,000 missiles to the Raphael-Kalyani facility. Kalyani is Raphael’s partner in India.

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